Thursday, December 1, 2016

Developing Countries Software Developers - on Their Way to Rule the World?

The pacific is small compared to the ocean of debate that has been held during the last decade concerning the possible evaporation of software development jobs out of western economies in favor of technologically developing economies (mainly India).

The main argument feeding that state of mind says that hiring developers in India (and other developing countries) in much less expensive than hiring personnel in developed economies. Let's have a look at the average annual hiring costs of software engineers in several countries:

Australia: $180,000

Canada: $155,000

Denmark: $146,000

United Kingdom: $145,000

United States: $130,000

Spain: $95,000

Poland: $50,000

India: $50,000

China: $36,000

Fine,now we all know that basically it's much more economical to close down your office in the the Silicon-Valley, Toronto, London (let alone Sydney) and move to the golden mines of Bangalore, Kiev or simply Beijing.

So why do you: Jeff, Philip. Francois, Jorgen and Kylie still employed? I guess that the decision-makers in high-tech firms also take into account the following arguments:

1. The hiring costs in developing countries rise constantly and quite sharply: about 10% annually. This means that by 2020 (if the trend continues), the hiring costs in India should be around $130,000. I assume that this trend deters mass transition of western firms to developing countries.

2. Mental gaps between continents may be excruciating: the mainstream cultures in the US, in W. Europe or in Australia are almost upside-down compared to those in most Asian nations, and those nearly reversed cultures should work together on a daily basis. Many decision-makers wouldn't take the risk.

3. Telecommuting is a fantastic idea, but most decision-makers just can't bear the possibility of not controlling face-to-face their employees, especially those involved in the core development of products. Let alone when the employees are located across the ocean.

4. Local patriotic concerns - many decision-makers can't come to terms with the idea of firing local employees in favor of foreigners, and do their utmost effort to avoid such steps. They know that they might meet the employee they fire at the local mall.

5. Disrespect for personnel in developing countries - Many decision-makers don't actually believe in the professional abilities of Programmers in developing countries, and tend to believe that the gap in the costs should materialize in gap of quality.

Conclusion - There are some decisive constraints on the move of software development to developing economies (primarily India). In my opinion, the large majority of software development is about to stay where it is today.

We should bear in mind that cultural changes (including organizational changes) take generally generations to take root. Think of how many services we can acquire on the web but still use the services of a professional: travel agents, matchmakers, newspapers, libraries and many more.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Free Alternatives to Microsoft Office

Ladies & gentlemen, my dear readers!

Today I'm going to talk a beat about the new born baby - Apple's iPad. Who really needs this toy and what can it really do?

1. Reading articles or books - iPad's screen is large and clear enough to let you read web articles, e-books or PDF/Word documents. You'll not have to ruin your eyes or suffer in any other way.

2. Games - There's a reasonably wide variety of games for iPad and it can be a substitute to game consoles (like Nintendo) for light-gamers. However, it's early to relate to iPad as a substitute to the desktop PC.

3. TV & movies - you can watch TV or videos in a reasonable quality. I wouldn't bet on it replacing your 50 inch plasma TV, but as a little TV it can do great.

4. Presenting presentations - if you need to present Powerpoint presentations outside your office or something similar, the iPad can replace a laptop and make it easier for you.

5. Basic web usage - it can replace a laptop in basic web functions, like: email, Facebook and more. It doesn't suffer from special communication troubles that may harass the web usage, and the screen is large enough not to cause you much misery.

6. Long usage without battery charging - iPad can reach 10 hours of active usage without charging, which is much longer than an average laptop.
The downsides of iPad must be taken into account:

1. iPad's screen isn't successfully suitable for usage outdoors, and you may suffer from using it at the beach or at a picnic.

2. iPad was created by nerds and it's itself a nerd: smart,skinny and fragile. Daily usage by young kids or messing otherwise with it should make its days shorter & shorter.

3. iPad isn't widely perceived as an attractive instrument, and its functionality is much better than its looks. So it might not be the ultimate purchase for making you cool.

4. iPad (as an Apple product) doesn't support Flash, which may be a nuisance for some users.

5. Above all - iPad isn't a PC: which means that you shouldn't expect it to be more than it's meant to be: a partial substitute to a laptop.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Your Lapotop's Battery - Welcome to Your Headache

Your Laptop's Battery - a Few Important Points to Remember Your battery is low again, ah?? Here's a pack of small details you probably don't know yet, and might be helpful for you:

1. What's better : keeping the laptop plugged in to the power socket or letting it get empty and recharging it ? most of you might jump and say "sure, keeping it plugged in". Wrong! the battery is like a muscle, if it gets some training, it preserves its potency. If it's always fully charged, it gets older very fast.

2. If you think that after some 6 months with the laptop, the battery holds for less hours than when it was brand new, you're absolutely right! To know exactly how much capacity the battery has lost, you may use the following software:

3. Along the laptop's life, the power meter (this little meter that tells you how fully charged is the battery at the moment) gets less & less accurate. This may cause you problems like: sudden shutting down of the laptop while doing something important. You can fix this issue by "recalibrating" the battery.

How to recalibrate:

a. Charge your battery completely. Then,wait 2 hours with the laptop plugged in.

b. Drain the battery completely (till the laptop turns off). Then. wait 5 hours.

c. Charge again the battery. Now, the power meter should be more accurate.

4. When is the appropriate time to dump your battery and purchase a new one? Experts claim that it's recommended to keep the battery while it's at least 25% of its original strength. Below this point, the battery can't give you a reasonable service.

Summary - the battery is the laptop's #1 headache, but using the points I've mentioned, might prevent this pain from becoming a migraine..